ArticlePDF Available

What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health? A Multi-Study Analysis


Abstract and Figures

Green exercise is activity in the presence of nature. Evidence shows it leads to positive short and long-term health outcomes. This multistudy analysis assessed the best regime of dose(s) of acute exposure to green exercise required to improve self-esteem and mood (indicators of mental health). The research used meta-analysis methodology to analyze 10 UK studies involving 1252 participants. Outcomes were identified through a priori subgroup analyses, and dose-responses were assessed for exercise intensity and exposure duration. Other subgroup analyses included gender, age group, starting health status, and type of habitat. The overall effect size for improved self-esteem was d = 0.46 (CI 0.34-0.59, p < 0.00001) and for mood d = 0.54 (CI 0.38-0.69, p < 0.00001). Dose responses for both intensity and duration showed large benefits from short engagements in green exercise, and then diminishing but still positive returns. Every green environment improved both self-esteem and mood; the presence of water generated greater effects. Both men and women had similar improvements in self-esteem after green exercise, though men showed a difference for mood. Age groups: for self-esteem, the greatest change was in the youngest, with diminishing effects with age; for mood, the least change was in the young and old. The mentally ill had one of the greatest self-esteem improvements. This study confirms that the environment provides an important health service.
Content may be subject to copyright.
What is the Best Dose of Nature
and Green Exercise for Improving
Mental Health? A Multi-Study
Interdisciplinary Centre for Environment and Society,
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex,
Colchester CO4 3SQ, U.K.
Received October 21, 2009. Revised manuscript received
March 12, 2010. Accepted March 15, 2010.
Green exercise is activity in the presence of nature. Evidence
shows it leads to positive short and long-term health
outcomes. This multistudy analysis assessed the best regime
of dose(s) of acute exposure to green exercise required to improve
self-esteem and mood (indicators of mental health). The
research used meta-analysis methodology to analyze 10 UK
studies involving 1252 participants. Outcomes were identified
through a priori subgroup analyses, and dose-responses were
assessed for exercise intensity and exposure duration. Other
subgroup analyses included gender, age group, starting health
status, and type of habitat. The overall effect size for improved
self-esteem was d)0.46 (CI 0.34-0.59, p<0.00001) and for
mood d)0.54 (CI 0.38-0.69, p<0.00001). Dose responses
for both intensity and duration showed large benefits from short
engagements in green exercise, and then diminishing but
still positive returns. Every green environment improved both self-
esteem and mood; the presence of water generated greater
effects. Both men and women had similar improvements in self-
esteem after green exercise, though men showed a difference
for mood. Age groups: for self-esteem, the greatest change
was in the youngest, with diminishing effects with age; for mood,
the least change was in the young and old. The mentally ill
had one of the greatest self-esteem improvements. This study
confirms that the environment provides an important health
Ecosystems provide important services driven by provision-
ing, regulation, and support functions (1, 2). It is clear they
also provide a health service arising from direct activities in
contact with nature. Recognition of the potential contribution
of natural ecosystems to human population health may
contribute to addressing problems associated with inactivity,
obesity, mental ill-health, and other chronic diseases. Many
of these urgent health challenges are also connected to
sedentary and indoor lifestyles (3, 4). Physical inactivity results
in 1.9 million deaths worldwide annually (5), roughly 1 in 25
of all deaths. Preindustrial humans expend some 1000 kcal
on activity per day, whereas for modern humans the mean
is 300 kcal (6). Inactivity increases the likelihood of obesity
and reduces life expectancy. Such physical inactivity tracks
from childhood, and is a key risk factor in many chronic
diseases of later life (7). Mental health disorders are now
known to affect most people at some point in their lives,
with 16% of the general population affected at any given
time (8, 9). As aging populations will put additional pressure
on health services, it is becoming increasingly urgent that all
sectors of the population undertake and sustain healthy
behaviors as early in life as possible (10).
Evidence shows that exposure to natural places can lead
to positive mental health outcomes, whether a view of nature
from a window, being within natural places, or exercising in
these environments (11–13). At the population level, there
are associations between health and proximity to greenspaces
(14). Thus, green space is important for mental health and
regular engagement is linked with longevity and decreased
risk of mental ill-health (15). Yet as more than half of the
world’s population now live in urban settlements, daily
environmental contact is becoming rarer (16), suggesting
the growing importance of access to local greenspace for
both quality of life and the sustainability of towns and cities
(17, 18). It is also well-known that physical activity improves
both physical and mental health of all age groups (19–22).
Thus “green exercise”, consisting of activity in green places
(in the presence of nature), is predicted to generate positive
health outcomes (23–26), accrue ecological knowledge
(21, 22, 27, 28), foster social bonds (29), and influence
behavioral choices (11, 24–26, 30, 31). In economic terms,
there should be cost savings if natural places are both
protected (32, 33) and used as sites for activity, thus generating
health benefits.
Achieving good mental health is not just a reflection of
the absence of disease or disability. It comprises a balance
between self-satisfaction, independence, capability and
competency, achieving potential, and coping well with stress
and adversity (34). Both self-esteem and mood are short-
and long-term determinants of mental health: both are
commonly assessed in green-exercise research. Self-esteem
is an evaluation of a person’s sense of worth or value (35),
and there are strong positive correlations between self-esteem
and health (28, 36). There are further inverse relationships
between self-esteem and mental health (e.g., depression,
social anxiety, loneliness, alienation) (35). High levels of self-
esteem are associated with healthy behaviors, such as healthy
eating, participating in physical activities, not smoking, and
lower suicide risks (37).
Mood is an integral component of daily life and strongly
influences feelings of happiness, appreciating the moment,
coping with stressful situations, and quality of life (38, 39).
Mood is linked with physical health and is known to affect
the immune system and the onset of certain diseases (40).
Acute changes in mood are generally maintained for 2-4h
post exercise, though this relatively short duration of
enhanced mood has a positive influence on quality of life
including more social interaction, improved productivity,
and better behavioral choices (39–41). Regular exercise
contributes to sustained chronic changes in mood. Thus,
both self-esteem and mood are regularly used to assess the
outcomes of acute-exposures to nature-based interventions.
However, health as an environmental service remains hard
to value (42–44), and these scientific findings do not yet
appear to have influenced the planning of urban and rural
environments, priorities for public health, social care and
youth offender programs, nor recommendations for the
emergence of sustainable lifestyles. The evidence to date
incorporates different methodologies and variables mea-
sured, along with international differences in typologies of
greenspaces, length of activity programs, and primary
* Corresponding author phone: +44-1206-873323; e-mail:jpretty@
Environ. Sci. Technol. 2010, 44, 3947–3955
10.1021/es903183r 2010 American Chemical Society VOL. 44, NO. 10, 2010 / ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 93947
Published on Web 03/25/2010
research questions. Uncertainties remain on the ideal
duration and intensity of nature-based activities to improve
mental health for different cohorts of people. It is also unclear
how recommendations should vary according to participant
characteristics. The purpose of this research was thus to assess
the best regime of dose(s) of acute exposure to green exercise
required to improve self-esteem and mood. The term “dose
of green exercise” represents the linked relationships between
duration of exposure, intensity of activity, and type of
Detailed research questions relate to physical activities
(duration and intensity), types of green places, and participant
characteristics (age, sex, health status): 1. How does exercise
duration affect self-esteem and mood?; 2. How does exercise
intensity affect self-esteem and mood?; 3. How do different
green habitats (e.g., urban green space, countryside, water-
side, wilderness, woodlands) affect self-esteem and mood?
4. What are the measurable differences according to selected
participant characteristics (e.g., children, adult, elderly;
female, male)?
We thus conducted a multistudy analysis of available data
using standardized meta-analysis methods to assess the
impact of green exercise on self-esteem and mood. This
enabled us to determine the most effective regime(s) for a
dose of acute green exercise. The recommended dose is based
on the combined benefits of both variables and does not
assess the separate contributions of nature and physical
activity on mental health.
Materials and Methods
Study Selection. Ten studies undertaken by the University
of Essex over the past six years were selected for inclusion.
The multistudy analysis was limited to these studies because
all used identical measurement tools to analyze changes in
self-esteem and mood after an acute exposure to green
exercise. However, to ensure validity of the overall analysis
standardized meta-analysis methods were used.
Self-esteem and mood measures were chosen as they are
state measures and can be easily manipulated in the short
term. They are also early indicators of long-term disease risk
and have implications for health behaviors, motivations, and
lifestyle choices. None of the studies used randomized
controlled trials or incorporated control groups where
participants were exposed to nature without exercising or
exercised in nongreen environments. All 1252 participants
were self-selecting using an opportunistic sampling meth-
odology and took part only in one study. We had full access
to all primary data, including pre- and post- mean values,
sample sizes, paired groups t-value, effect directions and
information on the nature of the intervention, participants
and location type (Table 1). This study does not therefore
include a large variety of studies from different research
Self-Esteem and Mood Measures. The Rosenberg Self-
Esteem Scale (RSE) is the most widely used and popular
self-esteem measure (45, 46). Many researchers regard the
scale as the standard against which other measures of self-
esteem should be compared. In all of the studies self-esteem
was measured immediately pre- and postactivity or inter-
vention using the one-page 10-item RSE scale.
The instrument used to quantify changes in mood was
the Profile of Mood States (POMS) standardized short-form
(47). POMS is the primary instrument for measuring mood
in studies of mood states and exercise (48, 49). Measurements
were taken in all these studies immediately pre- and
postactivity or intervention.
Statistical Analysis. Standardised meta-analysis meth-
odologies were used to assess changes in self-esteem and
mood data pre- and post- green exercise interventions.
Summary statistics represented the mean difference between
the pre- and postintervention values for both self-esteem
and total mood disturbance (TMD) (46, 47). The Compre-
hensive Meta-Analysis Version 2.0 was used for analysis. Data
were pooled to calculate an overall intervention effect
estimate. This represents the weighted average of the
combined individual intervention effects and the inverse-
variance method was used to assign weights to each study.
Thus, larger studies with smaller standard errors were given
more weight than smaller studies with larger standard errors.
This reduced the imprecision of the pooled-effect estimate.
It was assumed that the various studies involved in the
analysis were measuring different but related intervention
effects, and thus the combined intervention effect estimates
were calculated using a random-effects model meta-analysis
(50, 51). A funnel plot of precision and the “trim and fill” output
was used to inspect bias, and 95% confidence intervals were
calculated on the basis of the standard error of the pooled
intervention effect. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.
TABLE 1.Descriptive Data on the Green Exercise Interventions Included in the Meta-Analysis
participants type of activities type of environments cohort
1 256 cycling, gardening,
walking, fishing, boating,
countryside/farmland, forest
and woodland, urban green,
individuals choosing to
engage in GE activities
2 153 walking countryside/farmland, forest
and woodland, wild habitats
individuals at NT sites
3 38 farming activities countryside/farmland visitors to care farms
4 11 gardening forest and woodland students
5 57 walking countryside/farmland, forest
and woodland, waterside, wild
members of local mind
6 86 walking forest and woodland individuals choosing to
engage in GE activities
7 447 walking urban green individuals at urban flower
8 59 farming activities countryside/farmland visitors to care farms
9 10 walking, water based (sailing) wild habitats, waterside young offenders
10 135 gardening urban green individuals responsible for
Note: These studies were conducted with (1) Countryside Recreation Network, (2) National Trust, (3) National Care
Farming Initiative, (4) University of Essex, (5) Mind, (6) Highwoods Country Park, (7) Royal Horticultural Society, (8) LEAF,
(9) Wilderness Foundation, and (10) local allotment societies.
A statistical test for within-group heterogeneity assessed whether
observed differences were due to chance alone. The chi-squared
Q statistic was calculated using Q/(k-1), where k is the number
of studies in the meta-analysis (52). The I2statistic was calculated
using both Q statistic and degrees of freedom (53).
To investigate whether the intervention effect varied with
differing cohorts, type of green space, exposure duration or
exercise intensity, a series of predefined a priori subgroup
analyses were conducted. This allowed the exploration of
possible sources of heterogeneity by identifying modifiers.
Selection was based on causal mechanisms, magnitude of
effects and statistical significance (54). In accordance with
recommendations, all subgroup analyses were justified by
existing knowledge of the relationship between green exercise
and self-esteem/mood. The subgroup analyses identified
were 1. exposure duration: 5 min, 10-60 min, half-day, whole
day; 2. exercise intensity: low (<3 METs (metabolic equiva-
lent)), moderate (3-6 METs-) and vigorous (>6 METs) (55);
3. type of green space: urban green, countryside/farmland,
forest/woodland, waterside, and wilderness-type habitats;
4. gender: female or male; 5. age groups: <30 years, 31-50,
51-70, and >70 years of age; 6. starting health status: healthy
or with existing mental health problems.
Effect of Green Exercise. The multistudy analysis of differ-
ences in self-esteem and mood before and after green exercise
are shown in Figures 1a and b. The overall effect size for
change in self-esteem was d)0.46 (CI 0.34-0.59, p<0.00001)
and significant heterogeneity was found between estimates
of self-esteem (Q)29.83, p<0.00001). The overall effect size
for change in TMD was d)0.54 (CI 0.38-0.69, p<0.00001)
and again there was significant heterogeneity for TMD (Q)
45.95, p<0.00001). Effect size was thus higher for mood than
self-esteem. These changes represented improvements in
both self-esteem and mood. Based on the heterogeneity
findings six subgroup analyses were conducted.
Figure 2a and b illustrate dose-responses for duration of
exposure: both self-esteem and mood show distinct U shapes.
Greatest changes come from 5 min of activity, and thus
suggest these psychological measures are immediately
increased by green exercise. The changes are lower for 10-60
min and half-day, but rise again for the whole day duration.
Figure 3a and b show dose-responses for exercise intensity.
For self-esteem, the greatest change is for light activity and
then declines with growing intensity. For mood, the response
is again greatest for light intensity, declining to the lowest
for moderate, and then rises again for vigorous activity.
Figure 4a and b show effect sizes for five categories of
habitat or green space. There are no great differences for
urban space, countryside and woodland habitats. For both
measures, waterside habitats showed the greatest changes.
Green places improve self-esteem and mood (mean of d
FIGURE 1. a and b. Meta-analysis of studies showing effect sizes and 95% CIs for changes in self-esteem and TMD after
participation in green exercise activities (change in self-esteem was calculated as the difference between the pre and
postintervention scores).
values 0.44 and 0.56); however, green spaces with water shows
a larger difference (increase of 0.29 for self-esteem and 0.19
for mood).
Table 2 shows the results where there are binary groups
(male or female; healthy or mentally ill). All subgroup analyses
reported significant improvements in self-esteem and mood,
with effect sizes ranging from 0.38 (small) to 0.68 (moderate-
large). Changes in self-esteem and mood were similar for
both men and women. Healthy participants showed a smaller
change in self-esteem than those with self-declared mental
health problems (d)0.41 compared with d)0.68, p<0.0001),
though there was only a small difference for mood (d)0.53
compared with d)0.56). Table 2 shows significant within-
group heterogeneity based on starting health status (both
mood and self-esteem) and sex (mood only).
Figure 5a and b show the effect sizes over four age groups
(<30, 31-50, 51-70, and >70 years). The improvement in
self-esteem declines with aging (the greatest change is for
the youngest age group), whereas mood shows an inverted
U-curve with greatest changes in the midage groups.
The results show acute short-term exposures to facilitated
green exercise improves both self-esteem and mood ir-
respective of duration, intensity, location, gender, age, and
health status. The six subgroup analyses suggest important
specific recommendations for the most effective dose of
nature and green exercise. 1. Exposure duration: both self-
esteem and mood showed greatest changes for the least
duration (5 min), both showed smaller positive improvements
for <1 h and half-day activities, and both increased for whole-
day activities. This suggests that there is an immediate effect
obtained from the start of green exercise. Whole-day activities
are likely to be qualitatively different activities, involving in
some cases camping overnight and in others significant
conservation achievements. 2. Exercise intensity: self-esteem
improvements declined with growing intensity of activity,
and mood improvements were greatest for light and vigorous
activity. This suggests that there is a health benefit from any
short engagement in green exercise. 3. Type of green space:
all green environments improved both self-esteem and mood;
the presence of water generated greater improvements.
Although participants should be encouraged to undertake
outdoor activities in both rural and urban environments,
spending time near waterside (e.g., beach or river) or
participating in water-based activities may give a greater
benefit. 4. Sex: both men and women reported similar
improvements in self-esteem after green exercise, though
men showed a difference for mood. 5. Age groups: for self-
esteem, the greatest change was in the youngest category,
FIGURE 2. a: Dose response data for the effect of exposure duration on self-esteem. b: Dose response data for the effect of exposure
duration on TMD.
with diminishing effects with age; for mood, the least change
was for the young and old. This suggests that younger people
will see more self-esteem improvements, and the middle-
aged from mood. The over-70 age group experienced the
least change, perhaps because those sampled were already
experiencing good mental health and further improvements
were limited. 6. Starting health status: the mentally ill had
one of the greatest changes for self-esteem improvements.
This suggests that the mentally ill should be encouraged to
undertake green exercise.
Exposure to nature via green exercise can thus be
conceived of as a readily available therapy with no obvious
side effects (56). These findings indicate that dose responses
for both intensity and duration showed large benefits from
short engagements in green exercise, and then diminishing
but still positive returns. The findings also suggest that those
who are currently sedentary, nonactive, and/or mentally
unwell would accrue health benefits if they were able to
undertake regular, short-duration physical activity in ac-
cessible (probably nearby) green space. Such doses of nature
will contribute to immediate mental health benefits. As with
smoking, giving up inactivity and urban-only living results
in immediate and positive health outcomes, even from short-
duration and light activity such as walking. The findings from
this multistudy analysis suggest the need to undertake larger-
scale and randomized studies of different cohorts over long
time-frames to explore the dose of green exercise further.
All studies included in this multistudy analysis involve
exercise in green environments. The combined benefits are
thus assessed but the relative contributions of each com-
ponent are still unknown. Thus, there is also a need for a
field-based controlled study to analyze the benefits of each
element and assess whether there are any synergistic
outcomes. This has been demonstrated in a controlled
laboratory environment involving simulated green exercise
(12), but evidence is limited in the field. Overall mood effect
sizes for green exercise in this study are slightly larger (d)
0.54) compared with exercise in nongreen environments (d
)0.49) reported in other studies (57), although future research
is still needed to compare different exercising environments.
The findings here are based on short-term exposures to
single interventions. There remains a need for longitudinal
multicohort studies to track changes over time. Important
questions remain on how long the enhanced mood lasts once
activity has finished, and whether there are accumulative
effects following repeat exposures. The findings comprise
studies conducted by one University; thus once other national
data becomes available future meta-analyses will be more
cross-sectional. The 10 studies were also analyzed over a
period of six years, so self-esteem and mood may have been
manipulated by extraneous variables which could not be
controlled for. However, the outcomes do suggest a new
priority for frontline environmental and health professionalss
a regime of doses of nature may be prescribed for anyone,
but will have a greater effect for the inactive or stressed and
mentally ill, or at presurgery (58) or for recovery (59).
Employers, for example, could encourage staff in stressful
workplaces to take a short walk at lunchtime in the nearest
FIGURE 3. a: Dose response data for the effect of exercise intensity on self-esteem. b: Dose response data for the effect of exercise
intensity on TMD.
park to improve mental health, which may in turn affect
productivity (60).A particular focus should be on children:
regular outdoor play brings immediate health benefits, and
may instill healthy behaviors early in life (61). Childhood
social and economic conditions also predict adult health
status (62), and outdoor free-play is vital for development
and cognitive skills (63, 64). Given the therapeutic affects of
green exercise (65), youth offender teams should engage
certain groups of young people more in outdoor programs.
Health inequalities could be reduced if attention were also
given to the importance of urban design for both private
dwellings and public institutions such as schools, care homes
and hospitals (14).
Although good self-esteem and mood are known to be
protective against future long-term health threats, these
mental health measures should also be assessed in conjunc-
tion with a range of further health markers, such as blood
pressure, cholesterol, stress hormones (e.g., cortisol), and
inflammatory markers (e.g., C-RP). This research has not
assessed the benefits of undertaking activities with other
people (the benefits of social capital), nor the benefits of
connections with animals (28, 66). It also does not assess
how short-term changes to self-esteem and mood could lead
to long-term changes in knowledge and behavior, such as
the possible conservation benefits arising from more people
engaging in outdoor activity, and therefore coming to know
FIGURE 4. a: The effect of typology of green space on self-esteem. b: The effect of typology of green space on TMD.
TABLE 2.Summary of Effect Sizes for Two Sub-Groups Where These Are Divided into Only Two Categories (Gender and Health
sub-group measure category dvalue 95% CI P N Q P
female 0.38 0.23 -0.54 <0.0001 363 14.52 0.07
male 0.42 0.32 -0.53 <0.0001 377 7.82 0.45
combined 0.41 0.33 -0.50 <0.0001 740 23.40 0.14
female 0.49 0.33 -0.64 <0.0001 408 15.00 0.06
male 0.55 0.25 -0.85 <0.0001 387 42.48 <0.0001
combined 0.50 0.36 -0.64 <0.0001 795 58.45 <0.0001
starting health status
healthy 0.41 0.28 -0.55 <0.0001 1076 22.13 <0.001
mental ill-health 0.68 0.42 -0.94 <0.0001 105 2.73 0.26
combined 0.46 0.40 -0.52 <0.0001 1181 29.83 <0.0001
healthy 0.53 0.34 -0.71 <0.0001 1146 40.52 <0.0001
mental ill-health 0.56 0.19 -0.93 0.003 99 4.99 0.08
combined 0.53 0.37 -0.70 <0.0001 1245 45.95 <0.0001
more about natural habitats, and whether such engagements
with nature could lead to changes in food consumption
behavior. Contact with nature might thus promote more pro-
environmental behavior and attitudes.
This study using meta-analysis methods suggests that
attention should be given to developing the use of green
exercise as a therapeutic intervention (green care), that
planners and architects should improve access to green space
(green design), and that children should be given opportuni-
ties to learn in outdoor settings (green education). Some of
the substantial mental health challenges facing society (9, 60)
and physical challenges arising from modern diets and
sedentary lifestyles (8, 67, 68) could be addressed by increased
forms of activity in green places.
A challenge for policy makers is that policy recom-
mendations on physical activity are easily stated but rarely
adopted widely. The economic benefits are hard to calculate,
though could be substantial (42, 67). Policy frameworks that
suggest active living (69, 70) point to the need for changes
to physical, social and natural environments, and are more
likely to be effective if physical activity becomes an inevitable
part of life rather than a matter of daily choice (71). Simple
prescriptions are unlikely to be adopted by whole populations
unless supported by shifts in urban design, transport policy,
support for social care, parenting, and patients’ expectations
of their doctors. Accessing natural places for their health as
well as environmental services may aid these transitions.
We are grateful to Gavin Sandercock for suggestions on the
methods for meta-analysis, to Rachel Hine, Jo Roberts,
Murray Griffin, Marion Nolan-Ericsson, Graeme Willis, and
Sarah Pilgrim for some of the primary data collection in the
analysed studies, and to four referees for helpful comments
on an earlier version of this paper. We report that there are
no conflicts of interest.
Supporting Information Available
A brief summary of the instruments used to measure self-
esteem (Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale) and mood (Profile of
Mood States). This material is available free of charge via the
Internet at
Literature Cited
(1) Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems and Human
Well-Being; Island Press: Washington DC, 2006.
(2) Weber, J. L. Implementation of land and ecosystem accounts
at the European Environment Agency. Ecol. Econ. 2007,61,
(3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Activity
and Health; Report of Surgeon General: Washington DC,1996.
FIGURE 5. a: The effect of age on self-esteem. b: The effect of age on TMD.
(4) Be Active and Healthy. A Plan for Getting the Nation Moving;
Department of Health: London, 2009.
(5) WHO.World Health Report; World Health Organisation: Geneva,
(6) Davis, A.; Valsecchi, C.; Fergusson, M. Unfit for Purpose: How
Car Use Fuels Climate Change and Obesity; IEEP: London, 2007.
(7) Dobbins M.; De Corby, K.; Robeson, P.; Husson, H.; Tirilis, D.
School-based physical activity programs for promoting physical
activity and fitness in children and adolescents aged 6-18,
Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews 2009; Jan 21;(1):
(8) Healthy Lives, Brighter Futures: The Strategy for Children and
Young People’s Health; Department for Children, Schools and
Families/Department of Health: London, 2009.
(9) Foresight.Mental Health - Future Challenge; Government Office
of Science: London, 2008.
(10) Lim, K.; Taylor, L. Factors associated with physical activity among
older people - a population-based study. Prev. Med. 2005,40
(1), 33–40.
(11) Hartig, T.; Evans, G.; Jamner, L. D.; Davis, D. S.; Garling, T.
Tracking restoration in natural and urban field settings. J.
Environ. Psych 2003,23, 109–23.
(12) Pretty, J.; Peacock, J.; Sellens, M.; Griffin, M. The mental and
physical health outcomes of green exercise. Int. J. Environ. Health
Res. 2005,15 (5), 319–37.
(13) Ulrich, R. S. View through a window may influence recovery
from surgery. Science 1984,224, 420–1.
(14) Mitchell, R.; Popham, F. Effect of exposure to natural environ-
ment on health inequalities: An observational population study.
Lancet 2008,372, 1655–60.
(15) Takano, T.; Nakamura, K.; Watanabe, M. Urban residential
environments and senior citizens’ longevity in megacity areas:
the importance of walkable green spaces. J. Epidemiol. Commun.
Health 2002,56, 913–18.
(16) UNFPA. State of the World Population 2007: Unleashing the
Potential of Urban Growth; United Nations Population Fund:
New York, 2007.
(17) Chiesura, A. The role of urban parks for the sustainable city.
Landscape Urban Plann. 2004,68, 129–138.
(18) Maas,J.; Verheij, R. A.; De Vries, S.; Spreeuwenberg, P.; Schellevis,
F. G.; Groenewegen, P. P. Morbidity is related to a green living
environment. J. Epidemiol. Commun. Health 2009,63, 967–73.
(19) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Activity
and Health; Report of Surgeon General: Washington DC, 1996.
(20) Foresight. Tackling Obesities - Future Choices; Government Office
of Science: London, 2007.
(21) Wells, N. M.; Ashdown, S.; Davies, E. H. S.; Cowett, F. D.; Yang,
Y. Environment, design and obesity. Environ. Behav. 2007,39
(1), 6–33.
(22) Hartig, T.; Mang, M.; Evans, G. W. Restorative effects of natural
environment experiences. Environ. Behav. 1991,23 (1), 3–26.
(23) Ulrich, R. S.; Simons, R. F.; Losito, B. D.; Fiorito, E.; Miles, M. A.;
Zelson, M. Stress recovery during exposure to natural and urban
environments. J. Environ. Psych. 1991,11 (3), 201–230.
(24) Ecotherapy: The Green Agenda for Mental Health; Mind: London,
(25) Pretty, J.; Peacock, J.; Hine, R.; Sellens, M.; South, N.; Griffin,
M. Green exercise in the UK countryside: effects on health and
psychological well-being and implications for policy and
planning. J. Environ. Plann. Manage. 2007,50 (2), 211–31.
(26) Van den Berg, A. E.; Koole, S. L.; Van der Wulp, N. Y.
Environmental preference and restoration: (How) are they
related. J. Environ. Psych. 2003,23 (2), 135–146.
(27) Pilgrim, S.; Smith, D.; Pretty, J. A cross-regional assessment of
the factors affecting ecoliteracy: implications for policy and
practice. Ecol. Appl. 2007,17 (6), 1742–51.
(28) Pretty, J. The Earth Only Endures: On Reconnecting with Nature
and Our Place in It.; Earthscan: London, 2007.
(29) Kawachi,I.; Kennedy, B.; Lochner, K.; Prothrow-Smith, D. Social
capital, income inequality and mortality. Am. J. Public Health
1997,87, 1491–98.
(30) Kuo,F. E.; Sullivan, W. C.; Coley, R. L.; Brunson, L. Fertile ground
for community: inner-city neighbourhood common spaces.
Am. J. Commun. Psych. 1998,26 (6), 823–51.
(31) Maas, J.; Verheij, R. A.; Groenewegen, P. P.; De Vries, S.;
Spreeuwenberg, P. Green space, urbanity, and health: how
strong is the relation. J. Epidemiol. Commun. Health 2006,60,
(32) Matthews, H. S.; Lave, L. B. Applications of environmental
valuation for determining externality costs. Environ. Sci. Technol.
2000,34, 1390–95.
(33) Pretty, J. N.; Mason, C. F.; Nedwell, D. B.; Hine, R. E. The
environmental damage costs of eutrophication of fresh waters
in England and Wales. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2003,37 (2), 201–
(34) Bird, W. Natural thinking: Investigating the links between the
Natural Environment, Biodiversity and Mental Health; Royal
Society for the Protection of Birds: Bedfordshire, UK, 2007.
(35) Blascovich, J.; Tomaka, J. Measures of self-esteem. In Measures
of Personality and Social Psychological Attitudes, Vol I; Robinson,
J., et al., Eds.; Academic Press: San Diego, CA, 1991.
(36) Bernard, L. C.; Hutchison, S.; Lavin, A.; Pennington, P. Ego-
strength, hardiness, self-esteem, self-efficacy, optimism, and
maladjustment. Assessment 1996,3(2), 115–31.
(37) Torres, R.; Fernandez, F. Self-esteem and the value of health as
determinants of adolescent health behaviour. J. Adolesc. Health
Care 1995,16, 60–3.
(38) Hull, R.B. Mood as a product of leisure: Causes and conse-
quences. In Benefits of Leisure; Driver, B. L.; Brown, P. J.; Peterson,
G. L. Eds.; State College PA: Venture, 1991.
(39) Berger,B.; Pargman, D.; Weinberg, R. S. Foundations of Exercise
Psychology; Fitness Information Technology: Morgantown, 2002.
(40) Flory, J. D.; Manuck, S. B.; Matthews, K. A.; Muldoon, M. F.
Serotonergic function in CNS as associated with daily ratings
of positive mood. Psychiatry Res. 2004,29, 11–19.
(41) Thayer, R. E.; Newman, J. R.; McClain, T. M. Self-regulation of
mood: Strategies for changing a bad mood, raising energy, and
reducing tension. J. Pers. Social Psychcol. 1994,67, 910–25.
(42) Bockstael, N. E.; Freeman, A. M.; Kopp, R. J.; Portney, P. R.;
Smith, V. K. On measuring economic values for nature. Environ.
Sci. Technol. 2000,34, 1384–1389.
(43) Hammit, J. K. Valuing mortality risk: theory and practice. Environ.
Sci. Technol. 2000,34, 1396–1400.
(44) Barton, J.; Hine, R.; Pretty, J. The health benefits of walking in
greenspaces of high natural and heritage value. J Integr. Environ
Sci. 2009,6(4), 1–18.
(45) Biddle, S. J. H.; Fox, K. R.; Boutcher, S. H. Physical Activity and
Psychological Well-Being; London: Routledge. 2001.
(46) Rosenberg, M. Society and the Adolescent Self-Image; Princeton
University Press: Princeton, NJ, 1965.
(47) McNair, D. M.; Lorr, M.; Droppleman, L. F. Revised Manual for
the Profile of Mood States; Educational and Industrial Testing
Service: San Diego, CA, 1992.
(48) LeUnes, A. Updated bibliography on the Profile of Mood States
in sport and exercise psychology research. J. Appl. Sport Psychol.
2000,12, 110–13.
(49) Biddle, S. J. H. Emotion, mood and physical activity. In Physical
Activity and Psychological Well-Being Biddle, S. J. H.; Fox, K. R.;
Boutcher, S. H., Eds.; Routledge: London, 2000; pp 63-87.
(50) DerSimonian, R.; Laird, N. Meta-analysis in clinical trials. Control
Clin Trials 1986,7, 177–88.
(51) Deeks,J.; Higgins, J.; Altman, D. Analysing data and undertaking
meta-analyses. In Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews
of Interventions 5.0.1 (updated Sept 2008); Higgins, J., Green, S.,
Eds.; The Cochrane Collaboration: London, 2008.
(52) NHMRC. How to Review the Evidence: Systematic Identification
and Review of the Scientific Literature; National Health and
Medical Research Council: Canberra, 2000.
(53) Higgins, J.; Thompson, S.; Deeks, J.; Altman, D. Statistical
heterogeneity in systematic reviews of clinical trials. J. Health
Serv. Res. Policy 2002,7(1), 51–61.
(54) Oxman,A.; Guyatt, G. A consumer’s guide to subgroup analyses.
Annals Intern. Med. 1992,116, 78–84.
(55) Haskell, W. L.; Lee, I. M.; Pate, R. R.; Powell, K. E.; Blair, S. N.;
Franklin, B. A.; Macera, C. A.; Heath, G. W.; Thompson, P. D.;
Bauman, A. Physical activity and public health. Med. Sci. Sports
Exercise 2007, 1423–34.
(56) Berman, M. G.; Jonides, J.; Kaplan, S. The cognitive benefits of
interacting with nature. Psychol. Sci. 2008,19 (12), 1207–12.
(57) Szabo, A. Acute psychological benefits of exercise performed at
self-selected workloads: implications for theory and practice.
J. Sports Sci.Med. 2003,2, 77–87.
(58) Diette, G. B.; Lechtzin, N.; Haponik, E.; Devrotes, A.; Rubin,
H. R. Distraction therapy with nature sights and sounds reduces
pain during flexible bronchoscopy. Chest J. 2003,123, 941–48.
(59) Pierce, J.; Stefanick, M.; Flatt, S.; Natarajan, L.; Sternfield, B.;
Madlensky, L.; Al-Delaimy, W.; Thomson, C.; Kealey, S.; Hajek,
R.; et al. Greater survival after breast cancer in physically-active
women with high vegetable-fruit intake regardless of obesity.
J. Clin. Oncol. 2007,25, 2345–51.
(60) HSE. Self-Reported Work-Related Stress and Workplace Injuries
in 2006-07; National Statistics: London, 2008.
(61) WardThompson, C.; Aspinall, P.; Montarzino, A. The childhood
factor: adult visits to green places and the significance of
childhood experience. Environ. Behav. 2008,40 (1), 111–43.
(62) Wells, N. M.; Lekies, K. S. Nature and the life course: pathways
from adulthood nature experience to adult environmentalism.
Children Youth Environ. 2006,16 (1), 1–24.
(63) Burdette, H. L.; Whitaker, R. C. Resurrecting free play in young
children: looking beyond fitness and fatness to attention,
affiliation and affect. Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. 2005,159,
(64) Learning Outside the Classroom; Ofsted: London, 2008.
(65) Hartig, T. Green space, psychological restoration and health
inequality. Lancet 2008,372, 1614–15.
(66) Brugha, T. S.; Morgan, Z.; Bebbington, P.; Jenkins, R.; Lewis, G.;
Farrell, M.; Meltzer, H. Social support networks and type of
neurotic symptom among adults in British households. Psychol.
Med. 2003,33, 307–18.
(67) Promoting Physical Activity for Children and Young People;
National Institute for Clinical Excellence: London, 2009.
(68) Wanless, D. Securing Our Future Health: Taking a Long-Term
View; Department of Health: London, 2002.
(69) Sallis, J. F.; Cervero, R. B.; Ascher, W.; Henderson, K. A.; Kraft,
M. K.; Kerr, J. An ecological approach to creating active living
communities. Annu. Rev. Public Health 2006,27 (1), 297–322.
(70) Our Natural Health Service; Natural England: Peterborough,
(71) Matson-Koffman, D.; Brownstein, J.; Neiner, J.; Greaney, M. A
site-specific literature review of policy and environmental
interventions that promote physical activity and nutrition for
cardiovascular health; what works. Am. J. Health Promotion
2005,19, 167–93.
... Themes 1 and 2 show that students found solutions to problems within the group without consequence to their course, friendship groups or their course study groups. The group provided a safe place to normalize difficult emotions and a sanctuary whereby the group was contained and provided respite from everyday living [52,53]. Doughty [53] describes such temporary social outlets as having restorative value. ...
... The group provided a safe place to normalize difficult emotions and a sanctuary whereby the group was contained and provided respite from everyday living [52,53]. Doughty [53] describes such temporary social outlets as having restorative value. Weekly access to therapeutic landscapes-greenspace [35]-may have also acted as a co-facilitator to restoration, providing an enabling environment, reducing stress and increasing wellbeing [35,54]. ...
... The combined effect of the natural environment and physical movement releases a greater capacity and access to personal social resources [52] and increases the fluidity of interactions [53]. Interactions between participants and facilitators of MINDFIT were dynamic, with interruptions, pauses, breaks in conversation, a "give and take" and "swinging along with places" (Wunderlich, [55] p. 132), allowing for fluidity which was facilitated through the running element of MINDFIT. ...
Full-text available
Background: Mental health is an ever-increasing concern for UK Universities and underreported. Creative and dynamic approaches to tackle student wellbeing are important. In 2018, Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) Student Wellbeing Service initiated a pilot study of a therapeutic running programme ‘MINDFIT’ that combined physical activity, led by a counsellor, alongside a psychoeducation approach to support student mental health. Methods; Mixed Methods, a quantitative approach for pre and post data collection, including the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ 9), evaluating low mood and depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-7 (GAD 7) evaluating levels of anxiety. Results: 28 students were triaged onto a weekly programme over 3 semesters. 86% of the participants completed the programme. A promising reduction in scores at the end of the programme was found PHQ 9 and GAD 7. Three focus groups, with student participants and staff facilitators, were undertaken to gather qualitative data for analysis. After thematic analysis three main themes emerged: “Creating a safe community”, “Making progress” and “Pathways to success”. Conclusions MINDFIT was an effective and engaging multi-layered therapeutic approach. Recommendations identified the importance and effectiveness of the tri-age process in recruiting students and sustainability of the programme through the continued engagement of students post programme. More research is required to identify long term effects of the MINDFIT approach and how applicable it is to higher education contexts.
... Past research showed that green spaces can not only alleviate stress, but also improve overall mood, and help individuals experience their surroundings with all possible senses [67]. Recreational physical activity, common in green spaces, promotes positive moods and reduces stress levels [68]. Research by Kondo et al. [69] proved a positive association with attention, mood, and physical activity. ...
... [71] showed that respondents with more green space near their homes were less affected by a stressful life event than those with low green space access, suggesting that green space may buffer stress and anxiety. Similarly, Barton and Pretty [68] in a study conducted in the United Kingdom, showed that there were significant impacts of green exercise on several measures of mood and self-esteem. ...
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the socio-demographic background, patterns of recreational activity, and their impact on mood regulation strategies used by urban green spaces (UGS) visitors in Poland. In our research approach, we collected data from 376 participants through an online survey. In the next step, we developed structural equation models: one general model and two additional models for men and women. We discovered that both socio-demographic characteristics, as well as the variety of visited green spaces impact people's mood regulation strategies. In our research approach, latent variable places that consists of different types of green spaces is the key concept that positively affect mood regulation strategies; visiting more places reduces the tendency to decrease mood and increases the tendency to increase mood. Moreover, we identified some important gender similarities and differences. There is causation between the types of leisure activity and the frequency of a leisure activity among men and women. However, in the case of women, the frequency of a leisure activity is positively associated with the tendency to increase mood; in the case of men, the association is negative. The research results provide a deeper insight into of the patterns of green leisure that shape the subjective well-being of urban green space visitors in Poland.
... By implementing nature-based activities, children can obtain various benefits through exposure to nature at multiple scales, such as developing their cognition and life-long healthy habits and behaviors [1] [2] , promoting gross and fine motor skills [3] [4] , and improving their self-esteem, mood, and self-efficacy [5] [6] . Former studies found the positive relationships between childhood experiences with nature and adults' environmental beliefs (i.e., eco-centric or anthropocentric) [7] , environmental attitudes [8] , the selection of environmental-related career [9] , pro-environmental action [10] , etc. ...
... Examples of outdoor sports include hiking, trail running, swimming (in natural water bodies), skiing, and surfing. Intensive active experience with nature environment can benefit children's physical health [46] [47] and mental health [5][47] [48] . It is also critical to form children's future environmental awareness, attitudes, and behavior after they grow up [49] . ...
Full-text available
In a forest kindergarten context, young children can get boost on their level of physical activity, motor skills, social skills, pro-environmental behaviors, etc. through structured and/or unstructured nature-based educational programs. Most studies mentioned teachers, parents, and researchers as facilitators in the early childhood outdoor learning programs, while landscape architects were rarely considered. However, beyond just being involved in the design and construction of the physical environment, landscape architects can play a more profound role in the long run. This study aims to show that involving landscape architects as facilitators in the nature-based educational programs can benefit the programs in many ways and the effect can be long-lasting. The study is based on the 16 years of collaboration between Miyanooka, a forest kindergarten, and a team of landscape architects from Takano Landscape Planning in Japan to conduct naturebased educational programs to preschoolers. It presents examples of programs in Miyano-oka and the strategies applied to develop them. In this project, landscape architects employed various design strategies to improve the existing programs and help develop new programs. Among those strategies, participatory design is the primary one. During both the renovation (from 2006 to 2008) and follow-up (from 2009 to now) phases, active participation and collaboration between designers and the educators help achieve the sustainable development of both the outdoor natural environment and educational programs.
... After finishing the test, for five minutes of rest, participants used a VR headset and were randomly shown virtual attention-recovery scenarios ( Figure 7a). Five minutes of recovery has been demonstrated to be the most significant, longer than five minutes, which may make participants feel tired and interfere with the results [26,[72][73][74]. Lastly, participants performed the second sustained attention task (Figure 7b). ...
... After finishing the test, for five minutes of rest, participants used a VR headset and were randomly shown virtual attention-recovery scenarios (Figure 7a). Five minutes of recovery has been demonstrated to be the most significant, longer than five minutes, which may make participants feel tired and interfere with the results [26,[72][73][74]. Lastly, participants performed the second sustained attention task (Figure 7b). ...
Full-text available
A more efficient attention recovery of workers during their break time is essential for achieving higher productivity and wellness. In recent years, the biophilic design that introduces indoor plants has become one of the solutions to these problems. This study aims to determine the impact factors and corresponding levels related to indoor planting design concerning workers’ attention recovery. Firstly, the volume ratio, layout, and leaf size of indoor plants and the corresponding levels were put forward by a focus group study with ten participants. Secondly, the orthogonal experiment method established nine virtual recovery scenarios based on characteristics extraction of staff break areas in the factory. Thirdly, eighteen participants were guided to feel fatigued by experiencing the sustained attention to response test to measure the baseline attention level of participants. Then, participants rested in the virtual scenarios. Lastly, the attention test was conducted again to observe participants’ attention recovery degree. The difference values of participants’ sensitivity, reaction times, and the number of correct responses between the two detection targets were applied to evaluate the attention recovery. Results showed that the volume ratio of indoor plants had the most significant effect on workers’ attention recovery; 3% by volume ratio, mixed floor and wall plants and floor planting with large leaves were demonstrated as the optimal indoor planting design for attention recovery.
... A growing number of studies demonstrate the salutogenic effects of contact with nature on various dimensions of health in the general population (Ulrich et al., 1991;Kaplan, 1995;Mayer et al., 2009;Barton et al., 2010;Hartig et al., 2011;Nisbet et al., 2013;Lumber et al., 2017;Martin et al., 2020). Additionally, studies have shown how a more relational attitude towards nature (often referred to as nature connectedness or reciprocal) can help in achieving both better self-care (SC) and higher well-being, as well as in improving care of the natural environment (Buzzell, 2009;Stigsdotter et al., 2011;Seymour, 2016), and adopting a sustainable lifestyle (Zylstra et al., 2014;Restall et al., 2015;Zelenski et al., 2015;Mackay et al., 2019). ...
... Some participants prescribe non-formalized nature prescriptions. For example, suggesting the patient or client goes for a walk, as green exercise (Barton et al., 2010), is most common, ...
Full-text available
Several scientific communities and international health organizations promoting an interdependent human-nature health perspective are calling upon healthcare professionals (HCP) to integrate this vision into their practice and become role models. However, rising cases of stress, burnout, and depression, among this group jeopardize this potential and their self-care. Therefore, we conducted an exploratory qualitative study focusing on how HCP relate to their self-care, their relationship with nature and its implementation into their professional practice. Semi-structured interviews with 16 HCP were executed, transcribed and imported into NVivo. Using the six-step framework, we conducted a thematic analysis, followed by two-step member-checking. Three main findings arose. First, participants employ various self-care strategies outside of work whenever possible. Second, their nature experiences can be drawn along a continuum ranging in level of intensity, attitude and reciprocity, which does not seem to be disclosed during consultation. Third, the reflexive interviews may have led to increased awareness and agency on the former topics, which we have termed ‘nature-connected care awareness’. A preliminary framework to stimulate nature-connected care awareness could support HCP in becoming a role model.
... A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that green spaces in urban contexts (i.e. parks, forests and green belts) provide many environmental services, such as summer temperature mitigation (Gill et al., 2010), air and water purification (Escobedo et al., 2011;Livesley et al., 2016), rainwater runoff reduction (Zo¨lch et al., 2017;Ruangpan et al., 2020); more importantly they provide opportunities for contact with nature, for leisure activities that promote emotional stability, for more active behavior and physical activity with positive impacts on health outcomes (Barton and Pretty, 2010;Bowler et al., 2010;Beyer et al., 2014;Nutsford et al., 2013;Richardson et al., 2013;Cohen-Cline et al., 2015;Halecki et al., 2023). These benefits are linked to the availability of parks and the ease of access for urban dwellers to such open spaces (Maroko et al., 2009;Coombes et al., 2010;Biernacka and Kronenberg, 2019;Cambria et al., 2021;Konijnendijk, 2022). ...
Accessibility to urban green spaces is essential for urban dwellers’ health and well-being. For planning purposes different accessibility measures and indicators have been used. Some are only based on availability, others consider distance from residences, yet others rely on gravity-based methods that consider both supply and demand. Different indicators often provide diverse and sometimes contradictory results and many issues remain in developing a comprehensive measure of accessibility, and representativity problems remain in matching indices with reality. In this study different accessibility measures have been developed and applied to the urban parks of the city of Padova, in northeastern Italy. Effectiveness and reliability of ten indicators derived from these measures, in identifying needs, inadequacies and disparities in park access have been tested at the urban unit scale. The study confirmed that multiple indicators need to be used to provide a useful planning tool for the provision of adequate and equal opportunities for open space access to the citizens. The study has also shown which indicators can be replaced by each other without losing important information.
... Noteworthy, we attempted to account individual differences for restorativeness and benefits after a single 50-min session of nature exposure. However, the time of exposure to nature is still an aspect debated in the literature (Barton and Pretty, 2010). Systematic reviews have suggested that laboratory studies reported benefits in stress level and cognition after a few seconds or minutes of exposure to nature (Yao et al., 2021). ...
Full-text available
This study newly explored the relationship between individual characteristics (i.e., connectedness to nature, a preference for natural rather than built environments, personality, visuospatial preferences) with perceived restorativeness, as well as affective and memory-related benefits of exposure to the nature. Eighty adults were individually exposed to nature by walking in a landscape garden. Measures of connectedness to nature, preference for natural environments, personality traits, and visuospatial preferences were administered. Before and after walking in the garden, participants completed measures of affect (positive and negative emotions) and memory (short-term and working memory, and spatial memory). After walking they completed a Perceived Restorativeness scale. Perceived Restorativeness was found to be significantly explained by Extraversion (personality trait) and Connectedness to Nature. There was no significant influence of individual characteristics on benefits to affect and memory measures. Overall, the results showed that perception of the restorative effect of a natural environment is related to connectedness to nature and personality (extraversion trait). Taken together, our findings highlight the importance of considering individual characteristics to better capture restorative/recovery effects of a natural environment in an individual, and to tailor/implement nature-based solutions to ensure a sustainable urban green environment and to promote quality of life for their citizens.
... For example, the use of urban parks has been linked to improved physical and mental health in children, with these spaces being considered a low-cost health intervention [20]. Moreover, they are the places most frequently linked to the practice of physical activity with the consequent physical and mental health benefits it produces [21][22][23]. In this regard, Bai et al. [24] argue that the subjective perception of parks can predict physical activity and health [25,26]. ...
Full-text available
Public spaces are considered areas that promote users’ physical and mental health. The role of these people in public spaces makes it necessary to evaluate such areas. In this study, 12 urban parks on the island of Tenerife were evaluated, combining the assessment of a trained observer and the perception of users, to analyse and categorise the environmental quality of the parks. The findings of this study conclude that users are good evaluators of public spaces; that the Public Space Characteristics Observation Questionnaire (PSCOQ) tool allows the classification of public spaces and that physical order is capable of predicting the environmental quality and the restorative capacity of spaces, as perceived by users. The PSCOQ observation tool makes it possible to detect the strengths and weaknesses of public spaces so they can be improved and adapted to the needs of users.
This work aimed to investigate the association between the perceived cushioning of a set of trail-running shoes with both their mechanical response to the impact test and the acceleration of lower limb segments while running indoors and outdoors. Earlier studies have typically focussed on the effect of road-running shoe cushioning, whereas very few have examined the perception of trail runners and outdoor trail-running conditions. Seven trail runners were trained to become reliable in evaluating the level of cushioning on a scale ranging from 0 to 100 and then asked to rate the cushioning of eight trail-running shoes while running. Shoe specimens were mechanically characterized through an impact test. In addition, the effect on running biomechanics was tested by wearing two accelerometers on the tibia and foot. The in-lab impact test revealed that the perceived cushioning was inversely associated with the force amplitude and directly associated with the impact duration. The running test showed that the median frequency of the tibial acceleration during the first 25% of the stance phase decreases with increasing cushioning during both indoor (p = 0.02, rs = −0.83) and outdoor conditions (p < 0.001, rs = −0.79). In conclusion, the perceived cushioning was quantitatively associated with the outcomes of impact and running tests.
Our surrounding environment impacts our cognitive-emotional processes on a daily basis and shapes our physical, psychological and social wellbeing. Although the effects of the built environment on our psycho-physiological processes are well studied, virtual environment design with a potentially similar impact on the user has received limited attention. Based on the influence of space design on a user and combining that with the dynamic affordances of virtual spaces, we present the idea of adaptive virtual neuroarchitecture (AVN), where virtual environments respond to the user and the user’s real-world context while simultaneously influencing them both in real time. To show how AVN has been explored in current research, we present a sampling of recent work that demonstrates reciprocal relationships using physical affordances (space, objects), the user’s state (physiological, cognitive, emotional), and the virtual world used in the design of novel virtual reality experiences. We believe AVN has the potential to help us learn how to design spaces and environments that can enhance the wellbeing of their inhabitants.
Full-text available
has always been a central consideration of urban planning. The premise of municipal (upheld by the US Supreme Court under Village of
Full-text available
This article presents a framework for considering the relevance of the physical environment to obesity. The authors adopt the notion that the “environment” constitutes the space outside the person and therefore broaden the common conceptualization of the “environment” to encompass a full spectrum from small-scale design elements to large-scale community infrastructure. An energy balance approach is also adopted. The energy balance perspective recognizes the equilibrium of food consumption and energy expenditure, rather than focusing solely on one or the other side of the equation. The authors consider how environmental characteristics present either barriers (that hinder), or supports (that promote) healthy habits. Thus, they describe a range of obesity-related environmental themes that provide opportunities for innovative collaborative research between environmental psychologists and colleagues in fields ranging from apparel design to landscape architecture. Last, conceptual and methodological considerations are briefly presented.
Full-text available
This paper examines connections between childhood involvement with the natural environment and adult environmentalism from a life course perspective. Approximately 2,000 adults age 18-90 living in urban areas throughout the United States were interviewed with respect to their childhood nature experiences and their current, adult attitudes and behaviors relating to the environment. Model testing and cross-validation procedures using structural equation modeling suggest that childhood participation with nature may set an individual on a trajectory toward adult environmentalism. Specifically, childhood participation in "wild" nature such as hiking or playing in the woods, camping, and hunting or fishing, as well as participation with "domesticated" nature such as picking flowers or produce, planting trees or seeds, and caring for plants in childhood have a positive relationship to adult environmental attitudes. "Wild nature" participation is also positively associated with environmental behaviors while "domesticated nature" experiences are marginally related to environmental behaviors.
This chapter describes the principles and methods used to carry out a meta-analysis for a comparison of two interventions for the main types of data encountered. A very common and simple version of the meta-analysis procedure is commonly referred to as the inverse-variance method. This approach is implemented in its most basic form in RevMan, and is used behind the scenes in many meta-analyses of both dichotomous and continuous data. Results may be expressed as count data when each participant may experience an event, and may experience it more than once. Count data may be analysed using methods for dichotomous data if the counts are dichotomized for each individual, continuous data and time-to-event data, as well as being analysed as rate data. Prediction intervals from random-effects meta-analyses are a useful device for presenting the extent of between-study variation. Sensitivity analyses should be used to examine whether overall findings are robust to potentially influential decisions.